WASHINGTON – With the nation coming dangerously close to exhausting fiscal resources this fall, the National Association of Counties (NACo) called on Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to raise the debt limit. Inaction would result in the U.S. defaulting for the first time in history.
NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase said:
Counties urge our federal partners to reach a bipartisan agreement and raise the debt limit, as has been the practice dozens of times before. We also welcome a serious conversation about our long-term debt and deficit, and how responsible investments today will impact future generations.
“We urge bipartisan support for fiscal policies that strengthen the federal-state-local partnership and help us achieve our shared goals of keeping communities healthy, safe and vibrant.”
With 3.6 million employees, America’s 3,069 counties support over 1,900 local public health departments, nearly 1,000 hospitals and critical access clinics, more than 800 long-term care facilities and 750 behavioral health centers.
County governments are responsible for emergency operations centers and 911 services, court and jail management, public safety and emergency response, protective services for children, seniors and veterans, and the “last of the first responders” with coroners and medical examiners, among many other essential public services.
Additionally, counties own 44 percent of America’s roads, nearly 40 percent of bridges, a third of the nation’s airports and 78 percent of public transit systems.